REVIEW SYNOPSIS: Refined and easy flying kite, with great range, smooth pivotal turns and light touch steering.
Sizes Tested (m): 12, 9
Sizes Available (m): 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.5, 15LW, 17LW, 19 LW
Control Bar: Sensor Pro
THE GOOD STUFF: The Core Riot XR4 is a five-strut, four-line, hybrid bow design that covers a huge wind range and has all the key attributes to make it a great all around kite, ideal for waves or freeride. This year’s Riot amps up its performance in a number of areas with a more compact bridle configuration and some tweaks in strut diameter made possible by some high-tech Dacron material they call Exotex. Core has expanded its global reach in the past few years, and for all the right reasons. The quality and constant evolution of materials and engineered design make these kites top performers. Test riders were impressed with the XR4’s adaptable performance and its quick pivotal turns, smooth power delivery, and its crisp, flutter-free flying traits. It has super smooth depower and the kite still turns well even while highly depowered. Although, equipped with five struts which typically isn’t the choice for wave action, the Riot still works some magic in the waves, and has light bar pressure, and crisp pivotal turns, with the right amount of depower and well-balanced drift that will keep you in the pocket and get you out when you need to. Like many of these flatter, full-pinched wingtip kites, the Riot can adequately boost and has enhanced glide. Its quick reactivity to bar input, at any angle of attack, and smooth power through its loops, lets you find those soft landings after some ample lift and hang time. The water relaunch is effortless, with the nicely swept tips, this is a kite that you can learn with and truly never outgrow.
THE TRADE OFF: Okay for basic unhooked tricks but runs away a bit while unhooked, but that’s to be expected from a kite with so much range.
BEST FOR: Progression-to-advanced riders that want a kite with range and versatility with a tendency toward boost and glide and a capable companion in the surf or flats.